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Professional Development Portfolio

Professional Development Portfolio

To prepare for this PDP Assignment:

Reflect on the current status of your employing firm and its competitive positioning in the industry with
which it is associated, and then answer the following questions. Answers need only be brief, and

using short, bulleted statements is encouraged.

� What are the key factors for success for firms operating in this particular industrial sector? To what
extent is your current employing firm successful in meeting the requirements of those key success


� What do you believe are the likely change drivers that will impact on the nature of those success
factors? Will the impact of those change drivers create opportunities or threats, or both, for the firm?

� What specific role in the management of change will be assigned to you over the medium term (the
next 2-5 years)? What are the key attitudes, skills and abilities needed to successfully fill that role?

� In what specific attitude, skill and ability areas do you believe you need to improve your

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performance? What specific changed behaviours do you plan to instigate, between now and the
conclusion of this module, that will assist in achieving the necessary improvements?

Professional Development Portfolio


At the moment, I work at a fashion retail store that focuses on selling high-end
fashion products such as clothes, shoes, accessories, watches, and perfumes for both men and
women. Other products include sunglasses as well as women jewellery and handbags. The
products are of a wide range of brands such as Gucci, Burberry, Fubu, Louis Vuitton, and
Ray-Ban among others. The company operates in the highly competitive retail industry.
Success Factors
The factors for success for companies operating in this industrial sector include the
 Securing the right site – in the retail industry, location is the most important success
factor (Mawby 2011).
 Proximity to the market – a retail store needs to understand the demographic of its
target market and ensure that its retail business could be accessed easily by that
particular market as this would facilitate success.

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 Market position – marketing positioning, as Overstreet (2013) pointed out, projects a
consistent and clear image of the company and allows medium and small-sized firms
to compete against bigger businesses.
 Stock control – sufficient stock monitoring processes and systems would underscore
changes in demand in a timely fashion so that re-ordering could be reduced or
increased as necessary (Mawby 2011).
 Effective forecasting – a thirteen-week cash flow forecasting that focuses on daily
sales volumes is helpful in evaluating the capacity of a retail business to generate cash
to finance the requirements for current working capital.
 Strong balance sheet – it is worth mentioning that proper management of working
capital is related directly to the ability of the retail business to absorb any disruptions
or operational shocks (Overstreet 2013).
My employing firm is very successful in meeting the requirements of those key
success factors since it has secured a high quality retail space in a good location, it has
undertaken product branding to improve market position, it sells only high-demand products
to increase profits, and the business is situated in proximity to the market – in a shopping
The likely change drivers that would impact on the nature of those success factors
include: One, the mobile technology, considering that over 80% of consumers own a smart
phone and consumers use their smart phones to search and shop (Banks 2014). Consumers
are empowered these days like never before and there is a shift in power from the retailers to
the consumers. Secondly is the use of data in an intelligent manner to drive more efficiency.
Third is through the use of multi-channel store which combines online shopping and brick-
and-mortar stores (Mawby 2011).

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The impact of those change drivers would create opportunities for the company. This
is because first, the retail business will have an opportunity to establish a multi-channel retail
business by creating an online presence that will allow consumers to be able to shop and pay
online. This would complement its brick-and-mortar store. Secondly, the retail company will
have an opportunity to utilize data in an intelligent way to drive more efficiency by
harnessing data on both the global and local scale in order to create faster, simpler and richer
shopping experiences which would help the retailer to distinguish itself from its competition
(Banks 2014).
Over the medium-term (2-5 years), the specific role in the management of change that
would be assigned to me is the role of a change agent. To successfully fill this role, the main
abilities, skills and attitudes that are required include trustworthiness, conflict management,
coaching, facilitation, persistence and resilience, advanced communication skills, good
listening skills, empathy, team building skills, analytical skills, disciplined and well
organized. A change agent must also be flexible enough to handle evolving priorities and
work around hurdles (Tan & Kaufmann 2015).
To improve my performance, I need to improve in my communication skills area. A
good change agent should communicate effectively with all stakeholders. Communication,
during the change process, is essentially the glue which keeps the entire company together.
Good communication is also what moves the organization towards the desired goals (Tan &
Kaufmann 2015). A change agent needs to have the ability to communicate in an effective
manner across all organization boundaries and at all levels.
The change behaviours that I plan to instigate between now and the end of this
module that would be helpful in achieving the necessary improvements include improving
my listening skills and improving interpersonal communication with other people. In essence,

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I will seek to enhance 2-way engaging dialogue, listening to others properly, and talking
when necessary.


Banks, S 2014, Drivers of change: Retail industry in Australia, SIES Journal of Management,
14, no.1, pp. 3-8
Mawby, E 2011, How to succeed in the retail industry. Journal of Business & Retail
Management Research, 6, 2, pp. 1-12
Overstreet, J 2013, What’s driving change in retail? Retail insiders on the evolution of the
industry. Ekonomski Anali / Economic Annals, 54, 209, pp. 105-127
Tan, A., & Kaufmann, WH 2015, Making good change agents: Attitude, knowledge, skills.
Academy Of Management Journal, 55, 2, pp. 381-398

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